Nowadays the issue of creativity has become one of the most important topics for the teachers worldwide. It may seem that the process of education needs only improvement in its content as more information should be added into subject courses. However, recent research has shown that it is crucial to change the education system in its core. While IQ of American children is increasing, their creativity suffers (Bronson & Merryman, 2010, para. 5). An article by Robinson deals with reasons of this tendency and illustrates them with examples from the real life. Bronson and Merryman’s article is dedicated to the same topic and proposes possible solutions to this situation. These authors are unanimous in the idea that there are certain factors in the American education system that affects children’s thirst to knowledge, imagination and the ability to invent something new and unique. The old principles such as hierarchy of subjects and grades orientation kill creativity. To stop this tendency, it is vital to introduce problem-based learning and encourage students’ talents.
According to Robinson, creativity “is the process of having original ideas that have value” (2006, para. 13). It is an essential factor of humans’ progress. Creative people are important because they can provide both economic growth and solve social, political and ecological problems of national and international importance (Bronson & Merryman, 2010, para. 7). Modern educational system has many advantages such as diverse curriculums, abundance of information, various methods and technical basis. On the other hand, it has some serious drawbacks. Robinson states that “every education system on earth has the same hierarchy of subjects” and that the main purpose of the public education is “to produce university professors” (2006, para. 9-10). Mathematics and languages are always of the highest importance. Classes like dance and art are viewed as additional and entertaining rather than educational. Children are oriented on having high grades in “important subjects” even if they are not interested in them. In fact, such a strict system has nothing in common with creativity development. First of all, it does not give children a real opportunity to spend enough time, efforts and enthusiasm on interesting activities. They are reminded all the time that in order to continue education in prestigious institutions and get a well-paid job, one needs to be excellent in “priority” subjects. Moreover, it is vital to have the highest grades both in school (to enter university) and at the university (to get a prestigious position). Children are rarely informed that artists, dancers, actors, and teachers can have a well-paid job and enjoy it. Instead, they are taught that businessmen, economists, politics and diplomats have professions that bring both money and success. In general, children are seldom said that their labor should be interesting and pleasant. Thus, they suppress their inner desires to fit the society.
Bronson and Merryman say that many countries begin to make creativity development a priority in public education. In 2008, British secondary schools renewed their curriculums to emphasize idea generation. Pilot programs were introduced to assess students’ creativity. 2009 was announced by the European Union the year of Creativity and Innovation. More conferences are held worldwide on the issues of neuroscience of creativity, new teacher training programs and their financing, and introduction of problem-based learning. China has also joined this movement and reforms its educational system to make it creativity-oriented (2010, para. 9). On a more private scale, Robinson tells about a famous choreographer Gillian Lynne. She was regarded to be a poor student. However, she reached a tremendous success in dancing (2006, para. 15-17). Her experience is a perfect example of how talents should be noticed and developed. Moreover, it is essential to take further steps to develop these principles, and more countries should alter their approach to educational basics. It is important to share new ideas and experience of creativity encouraging learning.
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It is clear that problem-based programs are the key elements to developing children’s talents and desire to learn. Fact-finding and deep research is of primary importance for it. These are also important factors of creativity. Bronson and Marryman describe six stages of dealing with the learning task using problem-based methods. First, children are involved in researching the topic. To solve a problem, they need to find and investigate much information. Then, a problem-finding step follows. Students must create and think over different situations and try to predict what difficulties they might have. The idea-finding is the next stage on which plenty of ideas are generated. On the solution-finding step, the best ideas are chosen. Afterwards, children develop a plan of action. They build models and persuade others to support their idea. Finally, they present the project (2010, para. 23-24).
The advantages of this approach are numerous. It makes children use old experience and get new knowledge, encourages team-working and inspires creativity. They learn to face and overcome problems, gain new social skills and master required program without memorizing boring and complicated materials and formulas. Bronson and Marryman give an example of fifth-grade students who were learning their curriculum unintentionally. During their project they dealt with physics, mathematics, language and design (2010, para. 25). All these subjects were combined in such a way that children were eager to learn them. They were also inspired with the idea that they did something useful. In addition, students were able to use their talents. In team-working, all members have roles that correspond to their abilities. Thus, each student feels that they benefit to the group by doing something that brings personal pleasure. What is more important, children feel that they have a definite goal and do something useful.
In conclusion, the today’s education should be oriented on inspiring and developing creativity in children. Individual talents should be praised but not suppressed. A problem-based learning is a right way to reach this goal. It is also important for these ideas to be supported worldwide.